Parish newsletter

24th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

Bishop Robert met with his Council last Friday, 10th September, to discuss the Covid restrictions in our churches and parish halls/centres. He has written to the clergy informing us that a document is being prepared which will be sent to us next week with the outcome of their deliberations. Until then, he asks that we proceed with the current restrictions which involves the wearing of face coverings, sanitising your hands, 2 metre social distancing, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for any celebration within St. Patrick’s Church.

The Bishop’s principal concern continues to be for the well-being of everyone who attends our churches and for the clergy, given the age demographic of the Diocese.

Thanks to the generosity of our volunteer stewards, St. Patrick’s Church will  be open for Mass on Tuesday at 10am, when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30am when booking is advised to guarantee a place. 

To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 19th September, please telephone:

07526  232124

on Friday, 17th September between 4.30pm – 5.30 pm.

Please note the change of time

This number will be unavailable outside of the above hours. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.

You will be encouraged to provide your name and telephone number for the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. You should only sit with members of your own household or bubble. On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.

If you have not pre-booked please bring your contact details in an envelope and place them in the box at the front of the church or give your envelope to the outside stewards to avoid the need for our stewards to record your details when you arrive. Alternatively you can use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church using the NHS Covid App

For Mass on Tuesday, where booking is not required, you are invited to bring your Test and Trace details in an envelope and place them in the box in church.

There are still places available for Mass this Sunday, 12th September, offered on a first come first served basis. Please bring Test and Trace details if you haven’t reserved a place. You will receive a warm and reassuring welcome.

Please continue to pray for our parishioners who have recently contracted Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Some have had mild symptoms, whilst others have been very poorly. To the best of my knowledge, those who were admitted to hospital have now returned home. It is a reminder that Covid-19 is still in our community and that we should do all we can to be cautious in our everyday life choices which don’t only affect ourselves, but impact on others too.

As the rate of those coming forward to be vaccinated has slowed down, Pope Francis urges us to get vaccinated. In a video message, Pope Francis says:- “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her small gesture of love. No matter how small, love is always grand. Small gestures for a better future. God bless you. Thank you.”    

And remember, we are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people Lord, giving and loving, wherever we are, wherever you call us, whatever it costs, for as long as it takes.

Please look after each other and pray for one another and may God bless you and keep you safe.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am.  

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10 am on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4pm. These Masses may also be viewed later from the same website.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.

  • Monday – Bushell, Harland and Sloan Families
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Denis Lenehan and Margaret Lenehan
  • Wednesday – Brother Bede Alban and LDM Marist Brothers
  • Thursday – Funeral Mass for Mona O’Connor – by invitation only – Covid restrictions still apply in the church.
  • Friday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking advised

When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us in Church, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions .

Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is ill
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time Denis Lenehan and Margaret Lenehan

A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors

Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch. In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.

A time to pray

Please join together in prayer for the 133,988 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure):

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.

A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen

A prayer for the people of Afghanistan

May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.

The troubled World in which we live – a message from Cafod

A number of countries are facing significant crises at the moment. At this grave time for our sisters and brothers in these countries, we would like to reassure you that Cafod is responding to these multiple crises. You can read more about how we can all express solidarity with our sisters and brothers affected by these emergencies on the Cafod website. Your compassion, generosity and prayers will help us to stand together and enable us to continue to support communities in these difficult times. Thank you.

A cheque for £800.00 has been sent to Cafod’s Appeal from St. Alban’s Charity Box. 

Parking your car

If you come to St. Patrick’s Church by car please park carefully, thoughtfully and safely.

A black Nissan Micra, which was parked in the small Kwik Save car par opposite the church during Mass last Tuesday morning, blocked access to one of the properties that back on to that car park. A frustrated message was left on the presbytery answerphone during Mass by a resident who was blocked in.

Fr. Patterson also requests that you do not park in front of the presbytery garage during any Mass or service as access to the garage by others if often required.

Do remember that the main church car park is still open for use and, for the sake of our neighbours, should ideally be your first port of call.

Explore Sycamore

Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Each session involves a short film and time for discussion.  Some of you will already be familiar with this programme having followed the video links Fr. Patterson provided in the Newsletter over several weeks earlier in the year.

If you would like to experience Sycamore, the Diocesan Faith & Mission Team invite you to a Sycamore Taster Session on Sunday, 19th September at 4pm via Zoom. You can register online .

Assisted Dying Bill

Bishop John Sherrington, the Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has written an open letter inviting Catholics to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill to be debated in the House of Lords in October. If successful it will allow a terminally ill adult with less than 6 months to live, assistance to commit suicide. The Catholic Church teaches that this represents a crime against human life, for we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it. Bishop Sherrington encourages Catholic people to write to peers at the House of Lords stating the reasons why they oppose this legislation and particularly explain from personal experience the reasons why this change in the law should be opposed.

The Sacrament of Baptism

Following Bishop Robert’s decision to extend the Covid restrictions until further notice, we are still unable to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.

His decision also prevents us from reopening the parish centre. As a result, we are not in a position to be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child for Baptism which the Church requires.

The Church asks that every effort is made to ensure that parents have a full understanding of the nature of the Sacrament of Baptism and also a living awareness of the commitment having their child baptised entails, namely promising to bring their child up in the practice of the Catholic faith.

To support parents in this regard, we offer a series of preparation sessions, led by volunteer catechists, in the parish centre after which parents will decide, along with the priest, whether they should proceed with having their child baptised. Until we have permission to reopen our parish centre and to ensure the safety of everyone including our catechists we are currently unable to offer the preparation.

Fr. Patterson regrets that it will still not be possible to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church until the situation improves. Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for further information.

Things you need to know about having your child baptised.

For a child to be baptised in the Catholic Church, one parent must be a baptised Catholic who shows some sign of genuine commitment to the practice of their own faith by taking part regularly in Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s.

A child should be baptised in the parish in which their family lives and in the church they regularly attend. Parents who live outside our shared parish of St Patrick’s and St Alban’s and who wish to have their child baptised here, must regularly attend St Patrick’s Church.

Please note that no date for baptism can be considered until the preparation is completed and the parents feel able to make the commitment the Church asks of them.

We are still in need of more volunteers

If we are going to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid restrictions have been removed, I need your help and support to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you do not have a copy, please email or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.

Currently we do not have sufficient offers of help and support to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and will be struggling to fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the Covid restrictions are lifted.

If you can commit yourself to help in either church when all the Covid Restrictions have been removed, whenever that may be, please contact me as soon as possible

If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role; if you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past or if you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap for the first time, please get in touch as soon as possible.

An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project

At present this project is supporting on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher. The project organisers have been notified that new sites in the local area will introduce 400/500 new asylum seekers to the area as well as some Afghan refugees so the demand on the project resources and services will increase.

If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required. Thanks to those who have already generously responded to this request so quickly.

Financial donations can be made by bank transfer to HSBC Sort Code 40-34-18. Account number 52854058 Account name DHN Destitute Asylum.

Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

The details for bank transfers and cheques are as follows:

St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453

Zoe Covid weekly update

This week Professor Tim Spector in his weekly update, tells us that although cases numbers are still high they are showing modest signs of a decrease. He also takes a further look into waning vaccine effectiveness and what this means for protection versus severe symptoms if you catch Covid many months after your vaccination.

He reminds us that as well as the “classic symptoms” of Covid, (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell), there are more symptoms emerging, namely a headache accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a loss of smell. It may just be a summer cold, but check it out by taking a Lateral Flow Test. These kits are available from the local chemist, are free of charge and simple to use.

Parish News by Email

If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at and they will be added to our contact list.

Please follow and like us: